Benefits of ms access


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Benefits of ms access

  1. 1. San Sebastian College-Recoletos BENEFITS OF USING MS ACCESS SUBMITTED BY: Abelardo Abraham T. Barrot III SUBMITTED TO: I. Introduction:
  2. 2. Microsoft Access is a database application included in Microsoft Office, which helps businesses to save money. The different components and features make Microsoft access easy to use. The database application is beneficial to the work environment and offers a quick-learning format. People can create an operational database in less than one-hour when importing information from other Microsoft Office applications. Microsoft Access is capable of taking information from the enterprise software. More than one person can access or use the database at a time. People can add, delete, and update information instantly without the knowledge of programming languages. Beginners can use the database wizard to create database objects and relationships that has easy to follow instructions. The database application helps to avoid errors and duplicates of data. The application is compatible with word and excel. There is no database code needed to perform database functions where with other applications a code is required. Microsoft Access has predesigned database templates allowing people to add data immediately without developing a template. A business would benefit from Microsoft Access because most businesses grow and collect data over the years. The business can use the application to simplify data, which provides viewing in multiply ways and storing multiple tables into one computer file instead of multiple files. Microsoft Access is an ideal solution for relatively small datasets and a limited number of users. From the Microsoft Web site: “As a desktop database, Access is well suited for small, departmental applications. These applications may start as one user‟s project. For example, an employee realizes that productivity can be increased if a paper-based process is automated with an Access application. Other users in the department recognize that they can take advantage of the application if additional features are added. As more features are added, more employees run the application. As time goes by, more and more Access applications are deployed for different business units. With increased use, the limitations of a desktop database become apparent. Access security, performance, and disaster recovery features are not robust enough to manage an enterprise-level application. Because you need a new solution, you decide that the applications should be migrated to SQL Server. II. Study of discussion from other author about the issue
  3. 3. Here are the top 10 ways Office Access 2007 can help you (as taken from the Microsoft website). 1. Get better results faster with the Office Fluent user interface. Office Access 2007 provides a completely new experience with the Office Fluent user interface, new navigation pane, and tabbed window views. Even with no database experience, any user can start tracking information and creating reports to make more informed decisions. 2. Get started quickly using prebuilt solutions. With a rich library of prebuilt solutions, you can start tracking your information immediately. Forms and reports are already built for your convenience, but you can easily customize them to meet your business needs. Contacts, issue tracking, project tracking, and asset tracking are only few of the out-of-the-box solutions included in Office Access 2007. 3. Create multiple reports with different views of the same information. Creating a report in Office Access 2007 is truly a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) experience. You can modify a report with real-time visual feedback and save various views for different audiences. The new grouping pane and filtering and sorting capabilities help you display the information so you can make more informed business decisions. . 4. Create tables quickly without worrying about database complexity. With automatic data type detection, table creation in Office Access 2007 is as easy as working with a Microsoft Office Excel table. Type your information and Office Access 2007 will recognize whether it is a date, currency, or another common data type. You can even paste an entire Excel table into Office Access 2007 to begin tracking the information with the power of a database. 5. Enjoy new field types for even richer scenarios.
  4. 4. Office Access 2007 enables new field types such as attachments and multivalue fields. You can now attach any document, image, or spreadsheet to any record in your application. With the multivalue field, you can now select more than one value (for example, assign a task to more than one person) in each cell. 6. Collect and update your information directly from the source. With Office Access 2007, you can create forms using Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 or HTML to gather information for your database. You can then send this form to your teammates via e-mail and use their responses to populate and update your Access table to eliminate the need to retype any information. 7. Share your information with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services. Share your Access information with the rest of your team using Windows SharePoint Services and Office Access 2007. With the power of both applications, your teammates can access and edit the data and view real-time reports directly through a Web interface. 8. Track Windows SharePoint Services lists with the rich client capabilities of Office Access 2007. Use Office Access 2007 as your rich client interface to analyze and create reports from Windows SharePoint Services lists. You can even take the list offline, and then synchronize any changes when you reconnect to the network, making it easy for you to work with your data at any time. 9. Move data to Windows SharePoint Services for better manageability. Make your data more transparent by moving it to Windows SharePoint Services. This way, you can routinely back up the data on the server, recover deleted data from the recycle bin, track revision history, and set access permissions, so you can better manage your information. 10. Access and use information from multiple sources. With Office Access 2007, you can link tables to your database from otherAccess databases, Excel spreadsheets, Windows SharePoint Services sites, ODBC data sources, Microsoft SQL Server databases, and other data sources. You can then use
  5. 5. these linked tables to easily create reports so you can base your decisions on a more comprehensive set of information. Benefits of using MS access User benefits User Friendly Access is user friendly and features the familiar Windows „look and feel‟ which is appealing to most users. Concurrent Users Access was initially designed to operate on a network. Even though the latest version of Access will support up to 255 concurrent users, it is more practical to select Access when there will be approximately 15 to 20 users. Unique Identifier Each piece of information is assigned a unique identifier. This is extremely important since it controls that each piece of information is only entered once and eliminates human and duplication errors. Custom Design Customized forms can be created that will make it easy for you to enter your information. Selection Criteria Information can be easily retrieved based on selection criteria that you specify. Reporting You can quickly create custom reports to that contain useful data that can help streamline your business processes. Management benefits:
  6. 6. Future Investment When you purchase a Microsoft product, you can be sure that your investment will last far into the future. Microsoft is always upgrading their products so you can rest assured that you are not purchasing a product that will be obsolete in the near future. Scalable If your company is growing, one of the benefits of Microsoft Access is that it has upgrade capabilities. If the size of your database is continually growing and your performance starts to suffer, you can easily upgrade to SQL Server along with an Access Data Project (ADP). Legacy Data Access has the ability to easily import many data formats so that your existing data is not lost. This feature can not only save 100s of hours of input time, but also eliminate potential human input error. Distribution One of the benefits of using Microsoft Access is its Jet Database format (MDB or ACCB in Access 2007) which contains not only the application but also the data in one file. The ability to have the application and data in one file makes it extremely convenient to distribute the entire application to various users who can run the application in disconnected environments. Cost Benefits Microsoft Access is often chosen as the database solution due to the cost benefits. Backup The database can be backed up to prevent the loss of data. Cost benefits: One of the reasons why Microsoft Access is consistently the database of choice is that it is a less expensive alternative to larger database systems that require a tremendous amount of set up and maintenance costs. The following are a few reasons why Microsoft Access is the more economical choice when selecting a database system.
  7. 7. Cost of Access Microsoft Access is virtually free. If your computers already have the Microsoft Office Professional Suite of business products installed that is automatically bundled as part of Microsoft Office Professional, Microsoft Access is already available and there is no additional database software that is required. Cost of Development There is a tremendous amount of Access developer resources to choose from. Due to the wide spread popularity of Access, Access developers are often available at a very competitive market rate that is significantly lower than Oracle or SQL Server database consultants. It is important to note that even a complex database can be up and running in approximately ½ the time and cost of other database systems. Implementation and Maintenance Due to the simplicity of Microsoft Access, implementation and maintenance is significantly cheaper when compared to more complex database systems such as SQL Server or Oracle. MS-Access does not have to be installed to run If the user does not require any special customization to reports and/or screens, Microsoft developers have the option to package the database in a „Run Time‟ environment. The advantage of using a Run Time environment is that there is no need for a full installation of Access installed on your computer. As a result, no additional cost is incurred and you can freely redistribute it throughout your organization. Support There are more Microsoft Access consultants that are trained to be able to support your future Access needs than any other desktop database system. This competitive marketplace translates into the availability of selecting a consultant from a broader range of candidates who offer the same services at competitive rates. III.Background of the study:
  8. 8. Because Access is user-friendly and includes features used around other Microsoft Office applications, the knowledge base is not unreasonable. Wizards make it stress- free to produce a functioning database in less than an hour. Enormous volumes of data can be combined into the database without foregoing performance. Data that already exists can be basically introduced into the database; or as stated earlier, the data can be inputted directly into the database. In a large office setting, Access can be programmed to take data from the enterprise resource software. Access can be used to create customized business databases to manage many functions like invoicing, customers and appointment assistance as well as contract management. Microsoft Access can fit most requirements of your company. “As a desktop database, Access is well suited for small, departmental applications. These applications may start as one user‟s project. For example, an employee realizes that productivity can be increased if a paper-based process is automated with an Access application. Other users in the department recognize that they can take advantage of the application if additional features are added. As more features are added, more employees run the application. As time goes by, more and more Access applications are deployed for different business units. With increased use, the limitations of a desktop database become apparent. Access security, performance, and disaster recovery features are not robust enough to manage an enterprise-level application. Because you need a new solution, you decide that the applications should be migrated to SQL Server. One of the powerful features of Microsoft Access is the ability for developers to create custom solutions using VBA code (Visual Basic for Applications), which is similar to Visual Basic 6.0. VBA code is currently used extensively throughout various Microsoft Office programs such as Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint. Most VB6 code including the use of Windows API calls can be used in VBA. Many Microsoft “Power Users” in addition to Access developers are able to extend basic custom end- user solutions to a professional solution by using advanced automation, data validation, error trapping, and multi-user support. Microsoft Access features a relational database. One of the major advantages of a relational database is the ability to maintain relationships between different data tables. The power of a relational database makes it possible to „connect‟ the data in many ways and ensure the consistency (or referential integrity) of this data from table to table. Creating relationships and ensuring consistency saves time and accuracy since each piece of information is only entered once which eliminates everyday human and duplication errors.
  9. 9. Microsoft Access is often the desktop solution of choice used by non-programmers to create their own customized database solution. The Access tables are easily customized and can support a variety of field types and indexes. Access also has the ability to enforce referential integrity which prevents the database from accepting „orphaned‟ records which could corrupt your database. An orphaned record is a record that exists in the database and does not match any other records. A few more popular features of Access is the ability to include a very intuitive query interface, various customizable data entry forms and unlimited custom reports that can be printed or downloaded. Many non-programmers have been easily able to quickly create simple screens and reports on their own. IV. Analysis /findings Like most reasonably good products, there are two camps of opinion about MS Access. There are many users who passionately dislike the product. Then there are those who thoroughly enjoy it. To properly evaluate the database software, one must separate the emotional elements from the evaluation and put things in proper perspective. Access is a fairly powerful engine that integrates well with other Office products. Advantages and Disadvantage of MS Access Multi-User Support While Microsoft specifications allow for up to 255 simultaneous users, multiple sources have found that no more than 12 users can successfully use a networked Access application before the delay in connections through the file system pose a problem. Also note that users must be attached to the local LAN and have access to the shared networked drive hosting the Access application. This is not a problem for small teams in one location, but once teams are spread across multiple locations the application access slows down significantly for all users. The maximum concurrent user count listed by Microsoft assumes that the data is stored in one Access Database while access to the data comes from a separate Microsoft Access interface, such as an Access Application Project. In this instance the Access application resides on a user‟s machine while the Access database data resides on a shared network drive to which all users need Read/Write access.
  10. 10. While security is often not a consideration when deploying an Access database application, note that complete security can only be attained through folder security permissions. While users and roles can be defined in an Access database, it has been found relatively simply to circumvent these permissions and gain full access to the system. For secure access network administrators will need to grand and deny access to shared folders to the specific users who can access the database. More inherent in Microsoft access is the inability to easily use profile information about users. It is not trivial to store profile specific information about a user. For example, if a user is in one project, for them to see only their data in their queries, instead of data from all projects, data must be pulled when a user logs into the system from a table and stored globally. Then all queries must code in access to this property. Web application tools such as ASP.NET provide profile information built-in, and adding these filters to stored procedures is fairly trivial. Most government organizations create a standard version of Microsoft Office across the organization. All users have the same version and service pack of Office, allowing for simple deployment of the application. An Access database or Access Database Project can connect to a remote Microsoft Access database and retrieve information. Whenever a modification is made to the underlying database or user interface a new version of the Access Database must be loaded on the desktops of all users of the system. Scalability For relatively small data sets Access works very well for providing flexible information retrieval. It provides simple functionality to create pivot tables and generate graphical reports. Connections to the database are made using Jet or ODBC database connections. These connections work in small levels, but have more overhead when sending and receiving information. While up to 255 simultaneous connections are supported, this works in an environment where all users are on the same LAN (local area network). Once users become distributed across multiple locations, connections to the database slow down dramatically. This is primarily due to the fact that all connections to the database must be made through a mapped drive connection. Connecting to a remote mapped drive is much slower than native SQL Server or other database connections.
  11. 11. Microsoft Access also has a file size limitation of 2 GB of data. While there is very little possibility of exceeding the file size in many cases, the amount of time needed to retrieve data for a query or report becomes exponentially long as the number of rows in a table increases. When a table exceeds tens of thousands of rows processing time for a query becomes minutes instead of seconds. Very often to retrieve information formatted in a way that is usable multiple nested queries are needed. Generally 3 or 4 nested queries are needed to retrieve the information in a usable format. In some cases one query is run to generate a table, after which another query is run to generate another table. This is done so that the final query can run quickly, but requires multiple steps by a user to generate the data in a usable format that can be retrieved in minutes instead of hours. This also adds a very large amount of work to make changes to a query or add additional data, as all underlying queries must be modified. Confusion can easily occur as unused tables exist in the database, often where only the database creator will know which tables to use at which time. Reporting As long as a strong understanding of SQL queries is understood and deep understanding of the underlying tables, reports can be created to extract and display information, including the ability to export the data to Excel or many other formats easily. These reports use the underlying queries to generate and format their data. They work very well, though not always quickly for large calculations or formatting. Generally a more robust reporting tool such as SQL Server Reporting Services, Crystal Reports or another application will retrieve this information faster and provide the same graphical and export options. The disadvantage to these solutions is that quickly creating a new report is not as easy as it is in Microsoft Access. Data Import Importing data into Microsoft Access is relatively simple for simple amounts of data. Performing large data imports and formatting of final data is more difficult in Microsoft Access than it is in more robust database tools such as SQL Server and Oracle. This is generally due to the modified version of SQL available in Microsoft Access. Fewer functions exist for formatting, extracting and updating data into disparate tables. Often to extract a specific set of data, such as a list of locations, the database administrator must create a query for that one action and run it to populate a location table. More
  12. 12. robust tools allow for multiple queries to run at one time, and provide transactional processes, so that if any part of the import fails all changes are rolled back to a state before the import began. Remote Use For a user to use the system from a machine away from their office, they will need to have the same version of Microsoft Access installed. While this is not often a problem in government organizations, as mentioned above, it does require that users have access to the shared folder wherever they are located. Web based applications allow a user to access the system from any location that has Internet access. Web applications also allow for seamless updates to the system. If a new field is added to a form or report, the code is placed only on the Web server, and the new form appears to the user the next time they access or refresh a page. In an Access application, the new code must be sent to all users of the system. Without additional coding in the Access application to ensure the latest version is always used, it is possible that a user could use outdated code to update the application. This can allow for invalid data to be entered or invalid reports to be generated. User Accessibility While Microsoft Office programs now meet (as of Office 2003) the governments‟ standards for Section 508 accessibility, there is no guaranty that applications created in Microsoft Access meet those standards. If forms are used in the access application, more care must be taken in providing keyboard access and linking labels to fields for screen reader access. While additional coding is also necessary for Web applications, many mature Web application languages, such as ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0, provide simple methods to make applications accessible. Most user controls generate Section 508 compliant code by default, while others provide properties to make the control compliant.
  13. 13. V. Conclusion Microsoft Access is a database program. Use it for large amounts of data that you can track, sort and run reports with later. Access was one of Microsoft's first database programs and has fewer features than Excel. For almost five decades computers has always been very helpful to students, workers, businessmen/women. It makes our work a lot easier and we can do more work in one place to another. And now that we are in the 21st century our world most likely has more knowledge about technology. Nowadays, we store a lot of data in one day. In the end, sometimes we lost some of the important files and unable to retrieve it. For us to avoid carelessness as that there are a new Microsoft Office that could help us store and restore a data. It is called a Microsoft Access or Microsoft Office Access is a database system made for individuals and small-to-medium-sized businesses who want to capture, manage, and report data in a professional way. It is a member of the Microsoft Office Suite of applications which combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools. It is known for being a leading option for professional data managers who require advanced ways to report project data. Since Microsoft Access does not require complicated programming, regular people can create powerful data bases in advanced ways with Microsoft Access. VI. Recommendation Access has been designed for desktop use, more like a personal database. It can support multiple users over a workgroup alright; the total number of users (usually around 50 or so simultaneous) is small however. That means Access is more useful for individual departments or the SMB (small and medium business sectors). Access also has difficulty dealing with databases larger than 2GB in size, though just to be safe one should limit usage to about 1GB. As you scale up the size, performance becomes sluggish (almost to the point of unresponsiveness). Use of multimedia data, even your digital camera photos can eat up space very quickly. Until the 2007 version came along, even the way the images and other attachments used to be stored in Access databases caused a bloat. Though the attachment field in Access 2007 takes care of that, the overall 2 GB space could limit you very quickly. Many indicate that the SQL Server is a more real database, since it competes with enterprise-level databases like Oracle.
  14. 14. Another difficulty pointed out by many is how publishing anything other than static files is a problem with Access. It takes quite a bit of work to make data access interactive. You could use Share point but that represents a significantly large investment. Many believe that the SQL in MS Access is not as robust as other databases. There's a very prevalent belief that Access is oriented towards developers rather than end users. This opinion has changed slightly with the introduction of Access 2007, but it's still there to a great extent.